The Benefits and Myths about Gymnastics

By PLAYing in gymnastics, babies, toddlers, children, youth and adults learn skills that prepare them to participate in almost every other sport. .

The specific benefits

  • Enhance development of brain function, coordination, social skills, gross motor skills, emotions, leadership and creativity
  • Build confidence, independence and positive self esteem
  • Support healthy growth and development: build strong bones and muscles, improve flexibility, develop good posture and balance, improve fitness, promote relaxation, improve sleep and promote healthy weight
  • Help children move skillfully and enjoy being active
  • Leave children with a base that will support lifelong enjoyment and participation in almost any sport
  • In most sports require children must be “old enough” to PLAY. Gymnastics is one of the only activities that encourages parents and toddlers to come to class to learn and PLAY!
  • Gymnastics offers cognitive benefits. According to Dr. Robyn Silveman, PhD., “Research suggests that there is a strong correlation between physically fit children and academic achievement. This means that every time you send your child to gymnastics class, they’re getting an opportunity to engage in physical exercise that encourages healthy brain function.” (USA Gymnastics)
  • Gymnastics is great for kids because it is FUN!! Where else can your child run, jump, swing, tumble, PLAY and use all of their energy in a single class?

Dispelling the myths about gymnastics

The activity and the sport of gymnastics are often confused. The activity of gymnastics incorporate basic elements including springs, rotations and landings to build confidence, strength and flexibility. It can be taught safely with limited knowledge and equipment.

The sport of gymnastics incorporates the above activities into complex skills and routines. It requires more physical preparation, equipment and instructor education.

Myth #1: Gymnastics is only an elite level sport

Fact: Gymnastics is an activity that everyone can participate in and benefit from. The majority of participants in gymnastics throughout the world are involved at the recreational level with over 30 million members reported by the International Gymnastics Federation. Gymnastics is highly recognized throughout the world for its educational and fitness benefits.

Myth #2: To do gymnastics you have to be small

Fact: Anyone can do gymnastics regardless of size and strength. The skills that gymnastics provides helps to create a body awareness that tall and small participants benefit from!

Myth #3: Gymnastics is a dangerous sport

Fact: When a gymnastics program is tailored to the needs of the age group and ability level it is not dangerous. When you watch gymnastics on TV it does look like it has a dangerous element – but these athletes are trained and learn how to perform these skills safely.

In fact, gymnastics provides a great sense of safety because participants are taught early how to fall and land without injuries which is an important part of every sport. Many sports, such as skiing for example, incorporate gymnastics into their training at a young age so that athletes can learn skills that will make their participation in skiing safer!

Check out your local PLAY Gymnastics BC club for more details on how gymnastics will help our child’s development

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